Collaborating with people and attempting to create something original in music, or any kind of art is always a risky proposition. Much like a relationship you must trust the process and become vulnerable in order to let your guard down and let things happen naturally. Sometimes things have a way of coming together in an unexpected way, and sometimes they go south in a big way. Especially when said collaborators are legendary figures in a scene, expectations tend to run high. We are writing of course about super-groups and really notable ones like Killer Be Killed who just finished their self-titled, debut album for Nuclear Blast. Names that have defined three generations of heavy music fans such as Cavalera, Puciato, Sanders, and Elitch put their stamp on this recording, making a memorable, political flavored, heavy album that certainly lives up to the hype.
Holding nothing back right out of the gate, ‘Wings of Feather and Wax’ is blast of super-catchy, melodic post-hardcore. From Max Cavalera’s instantly recognizable gritty guitar tone, to the vocal majesty of Troy Sanders on the verses and Greg Puciato on the choruses, they let you know that this album is going to be special. There is a great breakdown where Max comes in on the vocals and there are a few thrash breakdowns added in. For the most part is sounds pretty smooth and well done. The chorus is almost a little too sugary for my taste, but it gets the job done for a lead off track. The next song ‘Face Down’ is a step up, more metal and pissed off all the way through. It is not unusual to hear Max and Greg switching off lines, but Troy is really the interesting element here. Troy’s voice being so strong, he struck a balance between heaviness and melody that is a great treat. By the time you get to ‘Melting of My Marrow’, you find the real star of the album is Dave Elitch (ex-The Mars Volta) whose power-house drumming and killer grooves makes the tracks jump through your speakers. The best cuts are the groovy ‘Snakes of Jehova’, ‘Save The Robots’, ‘Fire To Your Flag’, ‘I.E.D., ‘Dust Into Darkness’ (the most Dillinger type track), and ‘Twelve Labors’.
Many of the songs hold up on repeated listens, while a few are just good, not great. For some, it may take a few listens to really sink in and get a hold of you. This may be since the album was written over a brief period of time without a ton of wood-shedding. It’s raw in a good way, and not all balls out heavy at the time either. Mellow parts, interesting use of vocorders, dynamic shifts, tempo drops all give the album a lot of character. Producer Josh Wilbur’s (Lamb of God, Gojira, Avenged Sevenfold) clean tones definitely are an ear opener too. This album gives a much needed shot in the arm of the current scene, and sounds like nothing else. Here is hoping they get to more music like this in the future.
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Keith (Keefy) Chachkes